Four Anchorage residents have put their names in for the House seat vacated by former Rep. Josh Revak as he became a senator earlier this month.
They are Jamie Donley, Mel Gillis, Forrest McDonald, and Brian Webb. The governor has until Dec. 2 to name a replacement for Revak, so time is of the essence, as after the district forwards its choices to the governor, and he chooses a nominee, the House Republicans still must meet to confirm the nominee, which is going to be more difficult as the holidays approach.
Each one of the nominees brings a different set of skills and challenges.
Donley lobbies on behalf of Hope Resources, a nonprofit for people with disabilities, and is a political activist who worked on the campaign for Michael Dunleavy for governor; she also worked on Gov. Sean Parnell’s campaign, and has done door-to-door campaigning for many other candidates. She is active in party politics, the PTA, her children’s school, her community council, is in charge of her neighborhood watch program, and has lived in the district for 14 years. Her husband Dave Donley is an Anchorage School Board member Dave Donley; he is also a former House representative and senator and works in the Dunleavy Administration.
Gillis was the force behind the independent expenditure group called “Let’s Back Revak,” helping Josh Revak in 2018 successfully challenge former Rep. Charisse Millett. He owns Alaska Trophy Hunting Fishing and was the owner and developer of Sandy River Lodge. During the 2018 campaign, he walked the district five hours a day on behalf of his effort to elect Revak, and now he hopes to succeed him.
McDonald is a former legislative aide to Revak, is a Republican activist, and a real estate agent. He has run several legislative campaigns for Republicans over the past few years. He is an Army veteran from the 173rd Airborne, and served in Korea and Italy, as well as a two-year tour of duty in Afghanistan during the war on terror, where he served in combat. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor device.
Webb is a manager with Glacier Oil and Gas, with a focus on health and safety. He served in all four branches of the military: From 1977-1980, he was in the Marines as an infantry weapons repairman; from 1980-1984 he served in the Navy as a corpsman; from 1984-1991, he was a medic and infantryman in the Army, and from 1991-December of 2004 he was a medic and firefighter in the Air Force. He has been a licensed paramedic since 1981 and was a medic in Afghanistan during the war on terror. He worked to get Josh Revak elected to the House, and helped on the campaigns of Rep. Laddie Shaw, Sen. Mike Shower and Gov. Michael Dunleavy.
The District 25 committee meets privately at 6 pm Monday night to interview the four and vote on which three names to send to the governor.